Monday, December 4, 2023

A Room of My Own: Shared Values

This Brave New World, CXVI

corpse-men's contours
echoed in swirling lines 
of the blood-red sky ...
Biden embraces Netanyahu
in a bear hug

in broad daylight
Biden, Biden, you can't hide
loud and louder ...
the Washington apple 
cut in half,... this rotten core

FYI: The title alludes to U.S.-Israel Relations: Shared-Value Initiatives  (created since the 1980s)

1) The Nation, Nov. 4: Biden’s Bear Hug of Netanyahu is a Disaster: The renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas shows the incoherence of mixing humanitarian WORDS and bigger BOMBS.

2) Reuters, Oct. 21'I am a Zionist': How Joe Biden's lifelong bond with Israel shapes war policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -When Joe Biden met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet during his visit to Israel, the U.S. president assured them: "I don't believe you have to be a Jew to be a Zionist, and I am a Zionist."

Entering national politics in 1973, Biden spent the next five decades forging his policy positions - iron-clad support for Israel's security coupled with backing for steps toward Palestinian statehood - as he served as U.S. senator, Barack Obama's vice president and finally president.

During his 36 years in the Senate, Biden was the chamber's biggest recipient in history of donations from pro-Israeli groups, taking in $4.2 million, according to the Open Secrets database.

"Whenever things were getting out of hand with Israel, Biden was the bridge," said Ross, now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "His commitment to Israel was that strong ... And it's the instinct we're seeing now."

3) The Times of Israel, Dec. 2: Israel said to tell neighbors and US of plans to create Gaza buffer zone after war

Jerusalem has informed Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey of the plans, three unnamed sources from the region told the Reuters news agency.

“Israel wants this buffer zone between Gaza and Israel from the north to the south to prevent any Hamas or other [terrorists] from infiltrating or attacking Israel,” one of the sources said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Thursday in Israel that the Israel Defense Forces will establish a buffer zone “deep” into Gaza after the war, Kan news reported Friday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Friday that Washington opposes any reduction in Gaza’s territory.

“We don’t support any reduction of the geographic limits of Gaza… Gaza must remain Palestinian land, and cannot be reduced,” Kirby said during a press briefing.

4) CNN, Nov.9: UN human rights chief says both Israel and Hamas have committed war crimes

“The atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian armed groups on October 7 were heinous, brutal and shocking, they were war crimes – as is the continued holding of hostages,” said Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians,” he added.

And 5) United Nations, Press Release, Nov. 16: UN experts call on international community to prevent genocide against the Palestinian people

GENEVA (16 November 2023) – Grave violations committed by Israel against Palestinians in the aftermath of 7 October, particularly in Gaza, point to a genocide in the making, UN experts said today. They illustrated evidence of increasing genocidal incitement, overt intent to “destroy the Palestinian people under occupation”, loud calls for a ‘second Nakba’ in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory, and the use of powerful weaponry with inherently indiscriminate impacts, resulting in a colossal death toll and destruction of life-sustaining infrastructure.

“Many of us already raised the alarm about the risk of genocide in Gaza,” the experts said. “We are deeply disturbed by the failure of governments to heed our call and to achieve an immediate ceasefire. We are also profoundly concerned about the support of certain governments for Israel's strategy of warfare against the besieged population of Gaza, and the failure of the international system to mobilize to prevent genocide,” they said.

AddedThis Brave New World, CXVII

a boy's stare
the grinding sound loud and louder
as the tanks roll in

AddedThis Brave New World, CXVIII

a dog wanders
around tangled rubble ...
a blood-stained hand

FYI: Democracy Now!, Dec. 1"Mass Assassination Factory": Israel Using AI to Generate Targets in Gaza, Increasing Civilian Toll

We look at a new report that reveals how Israel is using artificial intelligence to draw up targets in its military assault of Gaza. The report's author, Israeli journalist Yuval Abraham, has found that the IDF's increasing use of AI is partly a response to previous operations in Gaza when Israel quickly ran out of military targets, causing it to loosen its constraints on attacks that could kill civilians. In other words, the "civilian devastation that is happening right now in Gaza" is the result of a "war policy that has a very loose interpretation of what a military target is."

For more, read [Tel Aviv-based, news and opinion webzine] +972 Magazine, Nov.30: "A mass assassination factory’: Inside Israel’s calculated bombing of Gaza: Permissive airstrikes on non-military targets and the use of an artificial intelligence system have enabled the Israeli army to carry out its deadliest war on Gaza" 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Battlefield Haiku by Natalia Kuznetsova

English Original

first snow
falling on the battlefield ...
young widow's firstborn

Under the Basho Journal, November 2022

Natalia Kuznetsova

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Living in Moscow, Russia, Natalia Kuznetsova is an assistant professor of English and freelance interpreter. Before discovering the haiku world, she wrote poetry in Russian. She started writing tanka and mostly haiku in English several years ago, and participated in numerous competitions worldwide and won some awards. She now contributes regularly to World Haiku Review, Mainichi DailyAsahi Haikuist NetworkShiki Kukai and other traditional and on-line publications. She was included on the list of "European Top 100 Most Creative Haiku Authors" from 2010 to 2013.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Poetic Musings: Solitude Tanka by Hifsa Ashraf

the strings of silence 
with moonlight 
until this solitude 
becomes a symphony 

Take 5ive, 1, 2021

Hifsa Ashraf

Commentary: Enhanced by the effective use of metaphors (interweaving/weaving "together;" moonlight, Buddhist metaphor for enlightenment; strings of (meditative) silence), Hifsa's tanka builds, line by line, to a thematically significant and multi-sensorily effective ending that reveals the theme of a "symphony of silence."

Her thought-provoking tanka reminds me of the following passage on the difference between loneliness and solitude:

Loneliness is small; solitude is large. Loneliness closes in around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nobody answers; "solitude has its roots in the great silence of eternity..."

"In solitude silence becomes a symphony." Time changes from a series of moments strung together into a seamless motion riding on the rhythms of the stars. Loneliness is banished, solitude is in full flower, and we are one with the pulse of life and the flow of time...

-- Kent Nerburn, Simple Truths

And it might be interesting to do a comparative reading of my tanka below where the "mythological art of weaving" as a "writing metaphor" is explored:

this winter mist ...
like Penelope I weave
and unweave
a shroud of words
to ward off loneliness

Special Feature: Myths and the Creative Imagination, Atlas Poetica, 2015

FYI: The ancient art of weaving is a profound "metaphor for recognizing health and wholeness as the primary state, and overcoming the blockages of seemingly broken connections."

Friday, December 1, 2023

Butterfly Dream: All-Day Rain Haiku by Julie Schwerin

English Original

all-day rain 
perhaps I am
a robot

Stardust, 72, December 2022

Julie Schwerin

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Julie Schwerin (she/her - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin) is an associate editor at The Heron's Nest , author of Walking Away From the Sunset (Brooks Books, 2023) and What Was Here (Folded Word Press, 2015). 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Passport Check Haiku by George Swede

English Original

passport check:
my shadow waits
across the border

Wordless: Haiku Canada 40 Years of Haiku, 2017

George Swede

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

George Swede's most recent collections of haiku are Almost Unseen (Decatur, IL: Brooks Books, 2000)Joy In Me Still (Edmonton: Inkling Press, 2010) and micro haiku: three to nine syllables (Inspress, 2014). He is a former editor of Frogpond: Journal of the Haiku Society of America (2008-2012) and a former Honorary Curator of the American Haiku Archives (2008-2009).

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

A Room of My Own: Cop-Out Tanka

No More Fairy Tales, XXIII
written on the eve of COP28 hosted by Sultan al-Jabe, the Oil Chief of the U.A.E., a petrostate which is one of the hottest places on Earth.

Dubai skyline
silhouetted against sunset
private jet
after private jet landing
for a climate cop-out

Note: This is a sequel to my COP27 tanka below:
written to this "ridiculously photogenic" Talker, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, the fourth most polluting country per capita in 2022, a country of gas-guzzling car enthusiasts.

COP 1, 2, 3 ...
these endless climate talks 
like crows' caw-caw-caw --
between Canada's plan and action
this Nunavut-sized gap

FYI: CBC News, Nov.27: COP28 host used climate talks to push for oilpatch deals, including in Canada: Leaked briefing documents reveal plans to discuss fossil fuel projects with 15 nations.

The Tyee, Nov. 29: Danielle Smith Heads to COP28 to Sell Fossil Fuels: Premier plans to pitch carbon capture and Alberta’s ‘clean’ oil and gas at climate summit.

And The New Yorker, Nov. 25: The Road to Dubai: The latest round of international climate negotiations is being held in a petrostate. What could go wrong?

...There have now been twenty-seven cops; this week marks the opening of the twenty-eighth, which will be held in Dubai. Over the years, everything cop-related has grown bigger and more elaborate. This year’s session is expected to attract some seventy thousand people—enough to populate a small city...As cop has grown and grown, so, too, of course, has the problem it’s supposed to address. In 1995, global carbon-dioxide emissions amounted to twenty-three billion metric tons. This year, the total is expected to be about thirty-seven billion tons, an increase of around sixty per cent. Meanwhile, cumulative emissions—which, from a climate perspective, are what count—have doubled. Among scientists, it is widely agreed that the planet is approaching critical “tipping points,” if it hasn’t already crossed them. “Life on planet Earth is under siege,” is how a recent scientific paper put it.

...“cops are the only place where the most vulnerable countries have a seat at the table,” Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s special envoy for international climate action, told me. “And that is so important because it changes the dynamics. It forces the largest emitters to sit across the table from countries like Vanuatu and listen to what it means if we don’t act.” (Vanuatu, in the South Pacific, is another country that could easily be wiped out by sea-level rise.)

And Global News. Dec. 1: A United Nations report criticized Canada last month, calling it the country with the widest gap between its promises and actual climate action. Now, Canada is pledging $16 million [merely a rounding error in the Canadian federal government budget] for a climate disaster fund. 

And The Guardian, Dec. 3: COP28 president says there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels

I’m not in any way signing up to any discussion that is alarmist. There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C

-- Sultan Al Jaber , President of COP28 and Oil Chief of the U.A.E., a petrostate 

AddedNo More Fairy Tales, XXIV

this weight
of something un/spoken
the world's largest iceberg 
breaks free, drifting somewhere

Note: This could be read as a prequel to my tanka below:

this world of reduction: 
of fingers lost to frostbite
of lives lost to depression ...
in the morning sunshine
another polar bear drifts off


FYI: NewScientist, Nov. 27: Where is the iceberg that broke off Antarctica and is it a threat?

...An iceberg more than three [not four] times the size of New York City began drifting again after being stuck on the seafloor for nearly 40 years

Chad Greene at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California  says it is clear that icebergs are breaking off Antarctica at a faster rate than snow is adding mass to the ice, “meaning climate change is causing the Antarctic Ice Sheet to lose mass at a significant rate”.

Researchers have been shocked by recent climate extremes in Antarctica, including record-high temperatures and vast areas of missing sea ice, which serve to buffer the continent’s ice shelves from warmer water and waves.

And CTV News, Nov. 24: World's largest iceberg breaks free, heads toward Southern Ocean

It's rare to see an iceberg of this size on the move, said British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Oliver Marsh, so scientists will be watching its trajectory iceberg of this scale has the potential to survive for quite a long time in the Southern Ocean, even though it's much warmer, and it could make its way farther north up toward South Africa where it can disrupt shipping.

Added: This Brave New World, CXIV

children's blood flows 
outside the pages of War and Peace
my friend feels
the loss of her passion
of her writing dream

Added: This Brave New World, CXV
written on the eve of the ceasefire's end

the call to prayer 
a half-ruined mosque
in twilit Gaza

FYI: Reuters, Nov. 30: In Gaza, call to prayer rings out from bombarded mosque

Balanced on a steep slab of fissured concrete with rods of twisted metal poking out and the remnants of a dome slanted at a 45-degree angle behind him, a young muezzin in a baseball cap called Muslims to prayer from atop a bombarded mosque in Gaza.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Dove's Nest Tanka by Samantha Sirimanne Hyde

English Original

on the sill's edge
rests a dove's flimsy nest
how hard
the rite of passage
to arrive at this new land
Eucalypt, 26, 2019

Samantha Sirimanne Hyde

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Samantha Sirimanne Hyde was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in Australia. She enjoys dabbling in short fiction, free verse, haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Arms Trade Haiku by Simon Hanson

English Original

arms trade cash for heartbeats 

Simon Hanson 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Simon Hanson lives in forested Tasmania in the company of animals and birds and the sounds of a trickling creek. Formerly Secretary to the Australian Haiku Society he is currently co-editor of Echidna Tracks. He has an e-book collection; Desert Stones (Snapshot Press) freely available here for you. 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Autumn Dusk Haiku by Laryalee Fraser

English Original

autumn dusk
a leaf fall into
the sound of grey

AHA Anthology, 2012

Laryalee Fraser 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

A resident of British Columbia, Canada, Laryalee Fraser was actively engaged in online poetry forums from the mid-1990’s until her death in 2013. Her poetry had been widely published in haiku and tanka journals, and  in 2006, she compiled an online anthology of haiku, "a procession of ripples."

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Poetic Musings: Mother's Puffy Eyes Tanka

red gathering
in a mother's puffy eyes ...
her boy alone
in the shadowed corner
of the hospital hallway

Honorable Mention, Member's Choice Award, Ribbons, 19:3, Fall 2023

Chen-ou Liu

Commentary: My [Catherine Smith's] interpretation of this poem is that it speaks of the great scourge: domestic violence. Here we see a mother waiting for treatment, after suffering physical abuse. How many times has this happened? Will it safe for her to go back to her home? Does she has the courage to leave the situation and seek help at a refuge? Simple questions, complicated answers.

Then there is her boy in the shadowed corner. The poet has cleverly used these words as the boy is indeed relegated to the shadows. From the sidelines he witnesses the abuse and is helpless to do anything about it. He lives in a state of perpetual anxiety waiting for the next time. Pretends to his classmates that everything is okay. Lies if asked about his mother's bruises. Tries to quell the rise of internal anger which keeps rumbling in his soul. This poem highlights our deep concern for the wellbeing of everyone caught up in these terrible situations.

Friday, November 24, 2023

A Room of My Own: Thanksgiving Emails

reading between the lives and writing between the lines, LXXX

Subject: thanksgiving alone
To: my self [stuck in life] 
From: me
Date: November 23
at daybreak flickering birdsong

Re.: thanksgiving alone
To: my [drunken] self
From: me
Date: November 24
alive in this broken world

FYI: This is the first set of English language tanka written in the form of an email.

AddedThis Brave New World, CXI

Now, This Promised Land
written on the 50th day of the Israel-Hamas War

the blood drips
from his big dirty hands
Netanyahu lookalike 

Hostages Square
a girl's candle flickers
in the cold air

FYI: Demonstration at what has become known as "Hostages Square," in Tel Aviv, near the Ministry of Defence, marked 50 days since Hamas attack on Israel...Hamas delayed the release of the second group of captives, accusing Israel of violating the truce, which started on Friday and is expected to last for four days... excerpted from Al Jazeera, Nov. 25: Tens of thousands rally in Tel Aviv amid delay in release of [second group] of captives.

And the following tanka could be read as its sequel:

This Brave New World, CX

pasted over Occupier
pasted over Kidnapped
above the photo of a man ...
this battle for perfect victims

AddedThis Brave New World, CXII

this hazy night
before the ceasefire ends
shortness of breath

AddedThis Brave New World, CXIII

between his teeth
a piece of hummus-stuffed bread ...
maimed orphan's last meal

FYI: Haaretz (founded in 1918, the longest running and most progressive newspaper with with an "exposure rate of 4.7%" in Israel), Nov. 28: Gaza's Unfolding Disaster: When Humanitarian Aid Is Your Last Meal... Orphans are multiplying in the streets, the bombing survivors are traumatized and once the truce ends, everybody knows death may fall again from the sky at any moment.

...a representative of Save the Children stated, “Every ten minutes, a child in Gaza is killed by a bomb and every five minutes, a child is wounded, in an asymmetric warfare situation that testifies to the failure of international law, whose aim is to protect civilian lives.”

And Reuters, Nov. 28: WHO warns disease could be bigger killer than bombs in Gaza

WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris on Tuesday said the agency is already seeing a dangerous surge in diarrhea in Palestinian children.

“We saw a very high number of cases of diarrhea among infants and again, no, there’s no treatment available for them. You know, if you have a child with diarrhea you need to give them re-hydration in order to keep them going until they get better and if you’re not able to do that, they can die very quickly from dehydration.”

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Thanksgiving Table Haiku by Ignatius Fay

English Original

thanksgiving table
for one
leftover chicken

Frogpond, 43:2, Spring/Summer 2020

Ignatius Fay

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified) 


Bio Sketch

Ignatius Fay was a retired invertebrate paleontologist. His poems has appeared in many of the most respected online and print journals, including The Heron’s NestModern HaikuArs Poetica, Gusts,Chrysanthemum and Eucalypt. Books: Breccia (2012), a collaboration with fellow haiku poet, Irene Golas; Points In Between (2011), an anecdotal history of his first 23 years. He was the editor of the Haiku Society of America Bulletin

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

One Man's Maple Moon: Orange-Tinged Sky Tanka by Lorraine Pester

English Original

against the orange-tinged sky
a squirrel
sprints to its nest
in the fork of branches

Lorraine Pester

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Being curious and staying open to possibility is Lorraine Pester’s way of keeping her haikai fresh. She shies from no topic that presents itself. Her deliberate interactions with birds while dog walking is a frequent theme. She lives with her husband and  Abbey schnauzer in south Texas. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Hot News: New Milestone, 1.8 M Pageviews and Call for Submissions

My Dear Friends:

NeverEnding Story reached a new milestone last night: 1.8 M pageviews (FYI: OJuly 14, it crossed 1.6 M view mark

I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this poetry journey. 

my whisky glass
half full or half empty?
with the Muse
this Jobian struggle
over noise and silence

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. 
-- Thomas Mann


Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write
-- Elie Wiesel

a fall universe 
into five lines down, 
pen in hand, 
the seaside bench hard 

Sanford Goldstein 

musing, I cram
thoughts of being a poet
into five lines ...
this man's face, his silver-hair 
ripple in the lake of my mind
(for Sanford Goldstein, the father of tanka in English)

Ribbons, 19:3, Fall 2023

Chen-ou Liu

In a war situation or where violence and injustice are prevalent, "poetry is called upon to be something more than a thing of beauty." 

-- Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet, playwright and translator who received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. 

Look forward to reading your haiku and tanka (see haiku and tanka submission guidelines)

Happy Writing


Monday, November 20, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Children's Day Haiku by Lavana Kray

English Original

Children's Day --
on daddy's chair
his combat helmet

Lavana Kray

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

兒童節 --

Translation result


Chinese Translation (Simplified)

儿童节 --

Bio Sketch

Lavana Kray is from Iasi, Romania. She has won several awards, including the status of  Master Haiga Artist from the World Haiku Association. Her work has been published in many print and online journals. She was chosen for 2017 Haiku Euro Top 100. In 2018 she joined the United Haiku and Tanka Society as Haiga Editor of its journal, Cattails. This is her blog.